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DCexplorer
WGA Member



Joined: 2003-08-21
Posts: 201
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:09 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Like many people involved in geocaching, I started with a fairly basic GPS, a Garmin Geko 201. Now I have the beginnings of the urge to upgrade.

My question, to those who have already walked this path, is this: did upgrading really bring you a sense of satisfaction? Has the ability to download and view maps (in grayscale or color) or have a higher resolution compass, enhance your geocaching experience? Did it make things easier, or no difference?

I won't ask you if I should upgrade, just what did upgrading do for YOU, other than deprive you of a few Benjamins?
 
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greyhounder
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-18
Posts: 3342
Location: Fort Atkinson, WI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Started with a Garmin Geko 101 (which I lost and later found) and then went to a Magellan SporTrak Map. Being able to upload coordinates was great. I liked the mapping, but didn't use it to its full potential. I didn't like the greyscale screen.

Got a Garmin 60CS last year. Love the color! And the mapping is great. Autorouting is nice too, but sometimes it & I disagree.

But the folks both use Geko 101s and love them. As long as it gets you to the cache, buy what makes you happy.

Bec
 
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DCexplorer
WGA Member



Joined: 2003-08-21
Posts: 201
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:46 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I notice a lot of Garmins have "electronic" compasses. I wonder if this is a useful feature so you don't have to do the "circle walk" to get you pointed towards your cache? Does this feature help?

 
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marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:25 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Started with a Garmin Etrex yellow. Upgraded to a Extrex Legend, for the mapping. Never used the mapping.

But I love the toggle / rocker switch, as opposed to buttons on the yellow.

Make sure the unit you buy has a computer cable so you can download file from your PC.

 
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greyhounder
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-18
Posts: 3342
Location: Fort Atkinson, WI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:54 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I pretty much never use my electronic compass -- one or two times maybe.

I've also used the Garmin Legend. That's a really great unit too!

Bec
 
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GrouseTales
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-02-18
Posts: 3399
Location: West Allis, Wi

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:55 pm Reply with quote Back to top

It was a huge step up when I upgraded my Eagle AccuNav Sport to the Lowrance Globalmap 100. The mapping was a huge advance for me. I walk and hunt a lot of fire lanes, most of which showed up on the mapping gps.

Compass.... I suggest sticking with a good ol'fashioned compass. Here is mine:
Image

My Garmin legend is nice, but the screen is kinda small. I love the color screen on my Garmin 2610. I wished I had a color on my handheld gps when I was pheasant hunting in South Dakota. I noticed the color topo maps show the boundaries of where the National Grasslands meet private property. This would have been very useful when seeking out public hunting land.

I think the 60c would be a good unit. I don't think the electronic compass is needed, nor would I pay extra for the feature.

------------------
"There are two kinds of hunting: ordinary hunting and grouse hunting."
-Aldo Leopold, A sand county Almanac


Brian
WGA Vice-President
Grousetales at wi-geocaching dot com
KC9GMW
 
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PCFrog
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-05-11
Posts: 728
Location: Sparta, WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:00 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Went from an Etrex to a Lowrance Phd.

Well worth it. No more driving around on roads just trying to find how to even get in the area of the cache. With price gas I can't even begin to wonder how much I prob saved in gas cost from not driving all over the place.
 
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jthorson
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-05-01
Posts: 847
Location: Pewaukee, WI, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:18 pm Reply with quote Back to top

My GPSr history:

code:

Model Value Features
--------------------- ----- -----------
Garmin GPS 12 1 Geko's
(Pre Geocaching) granddad

Garmin GPS V 2 Greyscale
(4 Years geocaching) urban mapping

Garmin GPS C60S 2.2 Color mapping,
(4 months geocaching) compass



Notes:
------
-Mapping great to get near to the cache, once your feet are on the ground rarely important.

-Going from V to C60 I was disappointed because I wanted a greater increase in value. The V had features not found on the 60! Given the option again, I'd have the V refurbished at a much reduced cost.

-All three still working.

-60s best features: fewer batterys with increased life, built in compass means I don't need to carry a traditional compass. I never use my man-purse (campaign bag) in the field anymore.


[This message has been edited by jthorson (edited 03-01-2006).]
 
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Buy_The_Tie
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-07-12
Posts: 2792
Location: New Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:01 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Every single GPSr I've ever owned has had mapping capability:

1st - Garmin Map12 (4MB Memory)
2nd - Garmin eMap (8MB Memory)
3rd - Garmin Map76CS (117MB Memory)

I still love my Map12. It goes FOREVER on a set of 4 batteries, good satelite lock in the woods, though update time when hunting geocaches seems slow.

I love my eMap. It has the biggest screen of all of them, responds well and holds satellites good. It is also the smallest and lightest I own. It is NOT waterproof (I haven't found this out the hard way, just read the literature)

Mixed feelings on my Map76CS. I like all of the available memory and auto-routing capability, and the color screen is nice in direct sunlight and also in other lighting conditions (but with the backlight on). Satellite lock seems fair (read not as good), and battery life doesn't seem to live up to the hype. The electronic compass is touchy and not terribly accurate, but usually adequate when hunting a cache. I usually leave the electronic compass off until I get at/near ground zero.

Good reasons to upgrade:
1. Waypoint Uploads
2. Auto-routing
3. Bigger Screen (color isn't necessarily better)

Good reasons NOT to upgrade:
1. Virtually everything you will upgrade to is BIGGER and HEAVIER.
2. Electronic Compass not worth the extra $$$.
3. Money.
 
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Cathunter




Joined: 2003-09-10
Posts: 1263
Location: Bristol WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

My biggest upgrade was going from having no GPS to having one. Thanks to uploadable detailed maps, I barely go anywhere without my GPS. Seeing little ponds and back roads on the screen as I am driving around has led to many great discoveries I would have never experienced otherwise.

A few weeks ago I drove to a waypoint in downtown Chicago. (I fear driving in downtown Chicago.) I drove to the front door of the location just as if I had been there a hundred times before. I would have never even attempted this without detailed maps in a GPS.

I don't use auto-routing. To many times it led me on a route that was less than ideal.

I don't use the electronic compass- calibration is a pain and doesn't last.

Color screen is nice, but does nothing to help hunt caches.
 
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OuttaHand
WGA Member



Joined: 2003-05-19
Posts: 203
Location: Elkhorn, WI USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:00 am Reply with quote Back to top

When I started caching I bought a Garmin 76. It is an excellent gps but it didn't have mapping.

When the Rino came out, I bought the Rino 120 with it's built-in FRS/GMRS radio, peer-to-peer positioning, and (most importantly) mapping.

The mapping is very nice to have. We use it a bit -- though not as much as other folks. VERY nice to have it at the ready, though.

At this point I have very little urge to upgrade. Don't care about color screens (have heard from many they drain the batteries much faster). Don't care about the electronic compass (prefer a good magnetic one any day). For me, the biggest reason to upgrade was tbe mapping.
 
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EnergySaver
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-05-28
Posts: 1440
Location: Ozaukee County

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:36 am Reply with quote Back to top

Like Buy_The_Tie, I have an old Garmin eMap ... I love that old thing ... mainly because of the larger display. I don't see that having color would be that much of an advantage.

I guess this means my opinion would be to consider screen size ... if you can afford it, go with a unit with a bigger screen size than the eTrex ... but at the same time, the smaller screens are fine for just finding geocaches, it's when you are viewing roads where the added size helps (at least with my eyes).
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2389
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:54 am Reply with quote Back to top

A related question: When I use a regular magnetic compass with my Etrex (yellow), I find that I cannot hold the compass with the same hand as the GPSr, because the compass will point at the GPS, rather than north. Obviously, my GPS is emitting some level of magnetic fields. Is this normal or is this a special Garmin "feature"?
 
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Buy_The_Tie
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-07-12
Posts: 2792
Location: New Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:27 pm Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by Team Deejay:
A related question: When I use a regular magnetic compass with my Etrex (yellow), I find that I cannot hold the compass with the same hand as the GPSr, because the compass will point at the GPS, rather than north. Obviously, my GPS is emitting some level of magnetic fields. Is this normal or is this a special Garmin "feature"?


Ahem..... Putting on electrical engineer hat..

Anything that disturbs the earth's magnetism, like large chunks of steel or iron will cause problems with a magnetic compass.

Anytime you have electrical current flowing (such as from the batteries of a GPSr), you are creating magnetism / further disturbing the earth's magnetism.

It's not a Garmin thing... it's a physics thing.

[This message has been edited by Buy_The_Tie (edited 03-02-2006).]
 
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EnergySaver
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-05-28
Posts: 1440
Location: Ozaukee County

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:52 pm Reply with quote Back to top

also be careful to not wear an Engineering Hat ... the protective metal plate also messes with compasses.
 
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